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Originally published December 13 2008

FDA Ignores the Pet Food Safety Deadline

by Susan Thixton

(NaturalNews) The FDA Amendments Act (FDAAA) was signed into law last year requiring the FDA to make improvements on food safety for people and pets. The first deadline required by the Amendments Act law, requiring an Early Warning and Notification System during a pet food recall, has come and gone seemingly ignored by the FDA. If the FDA can ignore the law, where does that leave 74 million US pet owners?

On September 27, 2007 President Bush signed into law the FDA Amendments Act, known as FDAAA. Section 1002(b) of FDAAA required the FDA to develop "Early Warning Surveillance Systems and Notification During Pet Food Recalls". The deadline for these pet food safety measures was clearly stated; "Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall establish an early warning and surveillance system to identify adulteration of the pet food supply and outbreaks of illness associated with pet food." The deadline for this to be completed was September 27, 2008. The FDA has not developed a pet food surveillance system or recall notification system; but they are working on it.

On May 14, 2008, four months before the deadline to complete the pet food surveillance and recall notification system, the FDA held the 5th Animal Feed Safety System Public Meeting in Gaithersburg, Maryland. One would think that during this meeting, the FDA would have been feverishly working out the final details of the mandated pet food recall notification system. However, quite the opposite happened. Eight months into the one year deadline, the FDA Animal Feed Safety System meeting merely re-stated what needed to be accomplished and highlighted existing gaps in existing programs.

Still 'working on' the mandated pet food safety reform, the FDA provided pet owners with "Update #5" in August 2008 (one month before the deadline). This update from the FDA brags about a few speeches given by the FDA; a 50 state meeting on food protection held in August 2008; and a reminder of a formerly discussed FDA 3rd party certification program for Food and Feeds safety. There was no mention in the FDA update regarding the upcoming deadline for a pet food surveillance system or pet food recall notification system.

As of mid October 2008, there is no updated information on the FDA's website regarding Section 1002(b) of FDAAA the early warning system and notification system of a pet food recall.

The deadline September 27, 2008 has passed. The FDA has accomplished little to nothing in the year since Congress developed the Amendments Act and the President signed it into law. Please contact your Congressman and urge them to hold the FDA accountable for ignoring the FDAAA mandated deadline. Pet owners and all consumers cannot afford for the FDA to ignore the law.

Wishing you and your pet the best,

Susan Thixton

About the author

Susan Thixton has an international pet people following providing dog and cat lovers a trusted source for pet food and pet food ingredient information. She's been called courageous, perseverant, even "the Caped Crusader for Pets" for her 16 year study of pet food. Susan Thixton is the author of hundreds of pet industry articles and the 2006 released book Truth About Pet Food (currently being updated for a second edition). She developed and publishes the pet product consumer magazine Petsumer Report and is a frequent speaker and radio guest all over the U.S. and Canada with more than 70 appearances in the last 2 years.
If you are looking for straight forward pet food information that can have an almost immediate impact on your pet's health - subscribe to the free newsletter, and subscribe to Petsumer Report to see reviews of close to 700 dog and cat foods and treats (adding 40+ each month). Susan Thixton's 'truth' will help you find a safer, healthier dog or cat food that could add years to your pet's life.

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